Gay Cure Therapy is ‘Quackery Fueled by Bias’


The American Pshycoanalytic Association, writing to Rachel Maddow’s team to praise last weeks segment on the history of the “ex-gay” idea, has said that any such attempts at a cure are “quackery” fueled by bias.

Following last Wednesday’s segment the Maddow blog reports the show was sent the following comment from the American Psychoanalytic Association:

This issue deserves coverage in the news as long as individuals and the “ex-gay movement” use faulty science and bias to advance their agenda. APsaA states in its 1999 position statement on reparative therapy that efforts to “convert” or “repair” an individual’s sexual orientation are against the fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often result in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized homophobic attitudes. We emphasize that anti-homosexual bias, just like any other societal prejudice, negatively affects mental health and contributes to feelings of stigma and low self-worth. Reparative therapy is nothing more than quackery fueled by bias.

Maddow’s chief aim in running the segment was to publicize the fact that Dr Robert Spitzer had asked to withdraw his 2001 study that had been used as proof that gay people can change their sexual orientation. The study was widely criticized for allowing the pre-selected 200 patients to self-report change and for not following them over a number of years to see if that so-called change persisted.

Spitzer, in an interview with Gabriel Arana for his piece in The American Prospect called “My So-Called Ex-Gay Life”, said he wished to withdraw that study and cited the potential harms its unsubstantiated claims might have caused the gay community, the very same community Spitzer had worked hard to depathologize just a few decades before.

In last week’s segment Rachel Maddow said she hoped that, just as mainstream media had been complicit in spreading news of the Spitzer study the first time around, they would similarly state Spitzer’s desire to retract the suspect findings and make it known that ex-gay therapy remains scientifically groundless and potentially damaging.


Related Reading:

Federal Gay Marriage Suit Filed in Nevada

University Drag Show Protested as ‘Sexually Perverse’

Gay Catholic Resigns Over Archbishop’s Anti-Gay Rhetoric



Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Joe Houghton.


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy5 years ago

OK so science says gay is OK. For me, if there is a God, then that God created gays so I would claim God thinks Gay is OK. And how many mainstream Christian anti-gay persons have been outed by their Gay behavior? Lots... So who really thinks Gay is NOT OK? Hmmmm? People who have gay feeling but don't want anyone to know? I guess. Live and let live. And leave gays alone.

Allan Yorkowitz
.5 years ago

Pathetic article.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

i wish that someone who underwent these types of "treatments" went to court for malpractice and damages

Angela N.
Angela N5 years ago

thanks :)

Heather G.
Heather G5 years ago

Rin, maybe parents send their children there because they can't handle having gay kids.

Rin S.
Rin S5 years ago

How are people thinking to go to these places? Gay cure therapy? You can't change who you are, and you can't deny it forever.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

I wonder if we could “Pray away the stupid”

Not possible. Rick Perry had the whole state of TexAss pray for rain while TexAss burned up. Prayer has been scientifically proven to not work. Gay conversion therapy has been scientifically proven to cause suicides. Gay cure quackery is a license to kill.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

Muriel C says, "I wish we could cure stupidity the same way we can cure ignorance: by giving people the information they need to comprehend the world around them." I love it! Can we start with the religious right and the Republicans. LOL

It is really too bad that most religious leaders cannot read their religious books and THEN analysis what is being said for the time, what has been disproven and what fit 5,000 years ago and no longer makes sense or works. Problem is they know if they do and or their followers do, in particular, they could not sell their lies and distortions of these books. They couldn’t lead their followers like a pack of blind sheep down a road of hate, bigotry and racism. They wouldn’t be able to convince some women that they were inferior to the men in their live and they wouldn’t be trying to take women back 60 plus years.

That’s why the religious right and the Republicans have been dummying-down America for a long time. That’s why the same folks are opposed to our educational system; they know that education is the only way to a person true freedom.

Glenn Byrnes
Glenn Byrnes5 years ago

Conversion therapy never works.